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Locating Hard to Find Car Parts: The Ultimate Guide

CarPart  ·  October 1, 2020

Locating Hard to Find Car Parts: The Ultimate Guide

A classic 944 Porsche would surely make you stand out in a crowd, but can you really handle it? When things go awry and require repairs, how will you go about locating hard to find parts?

Classic and vintage car owners have a love for old cars unmatched by many but behold, for the eye does not see the complete picture. If you’re planning to buy a car, be it a classic or a modern model, evaluate it first before handing in your cash. Does it have car parts that are hard to find? Do you know where to find those not so easily available parts?

To answer the first part of the question, we need to look at the current scenario.

In today's world, where everyone and everything is moving extremely fast, consumers often have little or no time and look for any convenience thrown their way. The same is the case with a consumer, such as you, buying car parts.

A consumer may spend time to choose a vehicle but will not have time to deal with the intricacies of locating discontinued car parts. So, when buying a car, you must be sure that you can easily find the parts for it when they need replacing.

Which car parts are hard to find?

1. Manual Gearbox

A manual gearbox rarely falters, but since the demand for this part is slowing down, finding a manual gearbox especially for discontinued cars can be tough.

2. Dashboard Panel

You'd think that since the dash panel wears off faster than other car parts (say a gearbox), it's easily replaceable. That's not the case. Finding a new one the same as the stock dashboard panel that the car came with can be a real challenge.

3. Steering Shaft

This part plays a crucial role in keeping the steering wheel and the steering gearbox connected. If your car is making weird sounds while rounding a corner or is giving you a hard time in turning the wheels, maybe it's time to get the steering shaft changed. The downside? It's a car part that's hard to find.

4. Aluminium Valve Covers

This part keeps the oil from falling out and keeps your hardware protected but is again, a hard to find car part. Since the supply is low, the price is ridiculously high and may range anywhere between $150 and $250, even from a recycler.

5. Radiator Hoses

These are rubber hoses that act as a medium to carry the engine coolant from the engine's water pump to the radiator. If this stops functioning, you might be in for some real hard work since these are incredibly hard to find.

We understand that certain car parts will always be a challenge to find, but we still need them, right? This brings us to the second part of the question.

Where can we go to find discontinued car parts?

No matter how busy we are, we need to find replacements for worn-out car parts to ensure that our vehicle continues running smoothly.

Why are car parts discontinued in the first place?

As mentioned above, many parts are discontinued because there's little or no demand for them. Also, companies specialising in car parts usually have prices that are way more competitive than what the manufacturer can offer. We call them aftermarket part manufacturers. For this reason, the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) may decide to step out of the competition entirely and leave the part manufacturing to other players. What do you do in this case?

1. Check all possible retailers 

Check all the retailers of the manufacturer online and figure out if it's available at any mentioned source. These retailers may also connect you to their suppliers directly in case that the part is still being produced. This option is the best, so by all means, exhaust it first. 

2. Visit car club events and swap meets 

You can explore sources from these events where car enthusiasts physically get together to work out deals. Even if you don't find the discontinued car part immediately, people visiting these events and swap meets are usually so knowledgeable that they'll guide you in the right direction. Though it may seem like an unconventional way to look for parts, it’s quite common. And it gets results, too!

3. Try to find used auto parts 

This will not only save you money but is also now a more convenient way to look for discontinued car parts due to the sheer number of wrecking yards and car dismantling companies now. Make sure that you're getting the right part and that it matches your vehicle. You can also search up used auto parts recyclers online. 

4. Use Carpart’s Auto Part Finder

An even easier way that combines both the second and the third options is looking up for a website that allows sellers and buyers to converge. This will save you time and money, help you vet sellers, and connect you to the right people! 

Such is, the perfect platform for locating hard to find car parts. What you should do is visit the website, fill out a form to describe the part you need, and hit ‘send’. This will get the ball rolling and send your request to hundreds of sellers and wreckers. Those who have the part in their inventory will respond to you with their quote. This system increases your chance of finding even discontinued car parts.

Without going through any major trouble, your vehicle will be right back where it belongs, on the road, up and running! 

By Wajeeha S.

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